Three men believed to be illegal immigrants and a Texas man were arrested by Ardmore police Friday when they were discovered in possession of counterfeit payroll checks totaling $10,000.

Three of the men gave the following names and ages, Carlos Alba, 39, Jose Perez, 39, and Jose Luna-Martinez, 32. They are suspected of being illegal aliens, and efforts to positively identify them remained ongoing Saturday. The fourth man taken into custody was identified as George Rodriguez, 28. Rodriguez is believed to be in the United States legally and residing in the Dallas area.

The four were nabbed after a traffic stop near the intersection of U.S. Highway 70 and Hedges Road led to the discovery of 24 counterfeit payroll checks.
Sgt. Ryan Hunnicutt, Ardmore Police Department Patrol Division, said the four came under the scrutiny of officers about 2 p.m.

“The vehicle had been noticed circling the area around West Broadway Street and I-35 in a suspicious manner,” Hunnicutt said. “Once the car had been stopped and the payroll checks located, patrol officers were assisted in the ongoing investigation by narcotics division officers. Wilson police also later assisted in helping us communicate with the men.”

The 24 payroll checks were apparently stolen from a local employer and then altered. Officers also found the foursome in possession of numerous identification cards and what was described as “an altered Mexican national ID.”

The four men were booked into the Carter County Detention Center on pending charges of possession of stolen property. All four appeared in court and remain held pending the posting of $40,000 bonds.

Hunnicutt said “appropriate notifications” have been made concerning the effort to identify the men and their status in the U.S.